- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Bantam (September 28, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 055380698X
- ISBN-13: 978-0553806984
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.7 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 56 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Elizabeth's Women: Friends, Rivals, and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 28, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Borman (King's Mistress) recreates the life, times, and key relationships of one of the most iconic women in history: Elizabeth I. Although Elizabeth is famous for deriding her sex and flirting publicly with favorites like Robert Dudley, Borman explores how other women shaped Elizabeth's personality early on. The beheadings of both her mother, Anne Boleyn, and stepmother Katherine Howard at Henry VIII's behest, and half-sister Mary's humiliating subservience to a foreign prince, made Elizabeth wary of men and convinced her that she must remain a virgin to succeed as queen regnant. Elizabeth shared a passion for religious reform and lively discourse with her stepmother Katherine Parr while her sister Mary's inflexible Catholicism taught her to never openly commit to any single policy. Elizabeth inherited Anne Boleyn's cruelty and vindictiveness, evident in her treatment of cousins who were prettier, younger rivals to the throne: Katherine Grey, who was imprisoned until her premature death, and Mary, Queen of Scots, also imprisoned and eventually beheaded. A standout in the flood of Tudor biographies, this smart book offers a detailed exploration of Elizabeth's private relationships with her most intimate advisers and family members. 2 color photo inserts.
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“Tracy Borman is one of our finest historians. She has a passion for history that illuminates her books, and writes with integrity, humanity, and skill. Elizabeth’s Women offers brilliant new insights into the shaping of the Virgin Queen. If you thought there was nothing more that could be said about Elizabeth I, you will be entranced by this original, masterly, and fascinating study of aspects of her life that have hitherto been overlooked. This is history as it should be written—and an invaluable aid to our understanding of its subject. Elizabeth’s Women is definitely one for my bookshelf!”—Alison Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Lady in the Tower
“The idea behind her book is genuinely inspired.”—John Guy, Sunday Times (U.K.)
“Readable and fun.”—Leanda de Lisle, Literary Review
“Borman’s book is innovative, full of rich, too often neglected female characters.”—Lady Antonia Fraser
"Here we have a most remarkable and surprisingly fresh study of the Virgin Queen that does nothing less than take the breath away."—Historical Novels Review
"Crisply written and meticulously researched, this is exceptional historical reporting. It is a brilliant piece of work that is both accessible and groundbreaking."—tucsoncitizen.com, "Shelflife"
"If you have any interest in the life of Elizabeth I, and in the era in which she reigned, then Elizabeth's Women is a fascinating must read...Don't miss it."--Bookloons.com
Top customer reviews
Alison Weir because the characters feel more real to me. This book reads like a classroom history book and that is okay but not
thrilling. Elizabeth I is presented as a neurotic and abusive sovereign which may be the truth, but after hearing about the people
around her I can understand her behavior.
This book dispenses with so much of that cods wallop and talks about the women who were a part of her life from waking to sleeping, and forces that shaped her decisions as a woman in a mans world.
On page 243 Borman explicitly states that Katherine Grey's husband Edward Seymour had royal blood and therefore a claim to the throne because he was a nephew of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's queen.
She makes a similar claim about Elizabeth Gerald on page 64, claiming she has 'royal blood' because she is a granddaughter of Edward IV's queen Elizabeth Woodville through her first Grey marriage.
I've read a ton of history and never before have I seen relatives of queens consort considered as of the blood royal. An analogy would be if Kate Middleton's future nieces or nephews through her sister were deemed to have a claim to the throne. It would be preposterous now and I'm pretty sure it would have been considered preposterous then.
At best these mistakes are misleading and at worst reveal such a fundamental misunderstanding or ignorance of the workings of dynasties as to make all her scholarship seem suspect.